Luton chief wants to keep Magpies midfielder

Midfielder Alex Gilliead

Midfielder Alex Gilliead

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Luton boss Nathan Jones is determined to keep Newcastle United midfielder Alex Gilliead at Kenilworth Road until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old, who has made 18 appearances in all competitions for the Hatters this term, sees his loan deal end with the club on January 7.

We hope we can continue with his development and that means keeping him until the end of the season.

Nathan Jones

When asked if he wanted to retain his services for the rest of the campaign, Jones said: “Yes, of course.

“He’s done really well for us Alex, and he can play in a number of positions.

“Having that option gives us options to change and he’s grown into what we’re asking him to do and we’re hoping we can get that done.

“We’ve been addressing that for the last two weeks anyway, so just about getting all the decisions right.

“The boy will end up in the Premier League I’ve no doubt. But he’s a young boy, had a successful spell at Carlisle, now he’s probably adding a little bit more to his game as we’re asking him to play in different positions.

“Carlisle was a great for his development and this is a new thing for him as well. He’s moved away from home, another important thing for a young player so we hope we can continue with his development and that means keeping him until the end of the season.”

Gilliead took a while to break into the side after joining, but has now started seven of Town’s last nine League games, having a hand in Luton’s second goal at Blackpool on Saturday.

Jones believes he has improved already in his four months with Luton adding: “He’s done very well and the thing is with him he’s probably renowned as a wide man, but we’ve actually developed him and changed him into a an all-round midfield player if you like, which is only good for his development.

“He’s an excellent wide man, really is a potent threat, but when he’s inside too, he’s a very good ball retainer.

“He breaks, has good energy and is better defensively that people give him credit for. He just keeps you in possession, so we like him, we really do.

“He doesn’t give the ball away too much, is comfortable in possession and receives it in tight areas and keeps us on the front foot.

“He’s got so much ability and if we do want to change and play a wide one we can as he’s very potent that way. He’s a glider and is definitely one that we want to continue with and hopefully we can.”